Thursday, June 14, 2018

Book Club! Wild Card by Hope and Wade King

Well, I accidentally took a wee blogging break and I'm super sorry! I had a really exciting opportunity pop up and I seriously had to just stop, drop and get the heck outta Dodge. I can't fill you in on any more details other than that...but I will be able to spill the beans soon. And when I can, trust me, y'all will be the very first to know. 

While I was on my adventure, I threw the idea of a book club out to my friends on Instagram. I picked up The Wild Card at the bookstore to read on my travels and I was really excited about it right from the start. I thought y'all might like to join me on Wednesdays during our Facebook and Instagram  LIVE chats at 8pm CST. This Book Club isn't exclusive to art teachers tho, I've opened the floor to all educators. The more, the merrier! I firmly believe we can all share, learn and grow so much with each other.

We'll start this coming Wednesday with a soft intro and a chat about the first chapter. Even if you don't get a chance to get the book or do the reading, I do hope you'll join the fun! 

 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Thursday, June 7, 2018

DIY: Sewing Room Studio Update!

 Hi, y'all! I'm so excited to share that I recently decluttered and organized my sewing room! It's been a LONG process and I'm so thrilled with the result. I can walk in, move around, LOOK around and see all of my supplies. It's amazing how much clearer the mind and work when there aren't piles of stuff to sift through. 
 When we first moved in to our house some 10 years ago, I already knew I wanted one room dedicated to sewing. I'd just started teaching myself to sew and was excited by all the possibilities of what I could create. Having a room dedicated to this was so exciting to me. Because I'm a collector (read: hoarder), I'd accumulated a ton of fabric and fun vintage finds like sewing notions. I thought it would be fun to dedicate one wall of my sewing room to display my inspirational finds. 
 Over time, I realized that this was a waste of precious space. I recently removed all of the frames and vintage notions within.
 And decided to make this wall a workspace. So all of the above came down. 
I LOVE my studio space and decided to create a similar space in my sewing room. I went to Hobby Lobby and picked up their biggest frames in the clearance section. Then I headed over to Home Depot and had them cut pegboard to fit my new frames. I also picked up a pegboard kit which includes the tools for hanging the frames. 
 And now I'm so excited! I have all of my embroidery floss, currently used patterns, knitting needles, embroidery hoops and more stored on this pegboard. 
 I'm super visual, I love to have all of my supplies on hand and on display. This kind of set up works so well for me. The same goes for my thread. These are actually table top thread displays that I found at Joann's. I simply drilled holes in them and hung them on the wall.
 Keeping this off my sewing table allows me to have so much more space to work. 
 Here's a look at my other pegboard. This one is a lot bigger than the picture shows and it holds so much stuff! I purchased the wire bins as a set from Home Depot along with all of the pegboard hooks. The yellow and metal cans are from Hobby Lobby. Currently, all of their metal containers that are colorful are on super duper sale, check their spring isle. 
The little round containers along the bottom are magnetic spice holders. My mom gave them to me but I feel like you could find those at IKEA or Bed, Bath and Beyond.
Pegboard Porn, y'all. 
 BEFORE! I had fabric everywhere! So much so that the room was very crowded feeling...and not fun to work in. 
 AFTER! I ditched the wire rack and a lot of the fabric that was on it. I kept what I liked and have decided to part with the rest. The giant mirror is from my bedroom which we never used. It allows me to see dresses as I sew them and really opens the room up.
 BEFORE! This is from a "clean out" a couple years ago...here is the AFTER result of that. 
 That time, I didn't really "declutter" as much as I just rearranged. I'm a constant sh**-shoveler, as I like to call myself. All I seem to do is just shovel sh** from one place to another. NO MAS!
 AFTER! This time, I really did declutter! My mom helped me out a lot. What I learned is that having a person help you is key...and it has to be a person who has no ties to the items you are looking to declutter. My mom does not sew or craft so she was all for trashing everything. Don't worry, nothing was trashed...just going in the donation/sale pile.
Love using shoe and sweater holders for scrap fabric, yarn and roving!
 Y'all recall that fabric stash of mine from the photo above? Well, the closet was also filled! My goal was to condense all of my fabric supply to fit in this closet. And I did it!
 I love having my fabric hung as it allows me not to have to root through piles of fabric. It also keeps it less wrinkled. 
There are still some things I'd like to do: make sure curtains, take down the old art you see above me and paint a happy picture...and organize the wire racks and make them more useful. But the bulk of the work is done and I'm so excited! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Monday, June 4, 2018

DIY: National Donut Day Dress, Part 2

This past Friday was National Donut Day! Because I'm pretty much a crazy person, I decided to create not one but TWO dresses for the occasion (the extremes I will go to to avoid cleaning my house HAS NO BOUNDS, PEOPLE). The first dress I made was an ode to Krispie Kreme. This here dress was dedicated to all the other fabulous donut joints out there! 
I decided to pair my dress with the Donut Hat (er, fascinator?) that I created a couple of years ago at a workshop. I started the dress at about 11:30pm on Thursday night. I'm a total night owl and it gets really out of hand during my summer vacation time!
 I used my easiest dress pattern that I've repeated both here and here. I love this dress pattern because it really just involves to pattern pieces (not including the two straps): the bodice and the skirt! It's a vintage Vogue pattern, number 8571. When looking for vintage patterns, your best bet is eBay or etsy. Using the sewing pattern number makes the search a lot easier. 
I decided to opt out of the waist tie (I did that here) and just wear my big ole pink belt. I did go with a circle skirt (like I did here) which took me a bit longer. I didn't have enough fabric so I had to do some "tasteful additions" to one of the back panels. I'm not telling you which one, I'll let you see if you can figure it out! 
 With the pattern pieces cut the night before, I got up at 7am and started sewing. This dress took me until 11am to complete...not bad, I don't think! Adding pockets and hemming that beast of a circle skirt did slow me down some but I was happy with my time. Then I had to bust it to wear both dresses to all my donut stops!
After hitting Krispie Kreme in my KK dress, where I picked up donuts for our school's custodial staff (and any other takers in the building!), I did a quick change into this number. These photos were shot by me with my self-timer right outside my art room door. Then I was off to Dunkin'!
So it turns out that Dunkin wasn't giving away free donuts...you had to buy a drink before you got a freebie. I bought a dozen donuts from there to take to my school's central office where the big wigs work. I work in a very small school district of just 8 schools and we're like family. It just so happens that they are less than a half mile down the road from Dunkin so it totally worked out. Everyone was so excited to get a donut and see my wild ensemble that it totally made my day. But they didn't eat all the donuts, I still had half a dozen left!
I remembered I had some banking to do which is also just down the road. I popped in there and delivered donuts to those hard workin' folks at the bank. Our bank is next door to our post office, right in downtown Franklin, so I popped in there too and delivered the rest of the donuts. Y'all. Folks were so stinkin' happy and excited...this was such a fun day! Who knew dressing crazy and giving away free sweets was so much fun? I really need to do it more often! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Friday, June 1, 2018

DIY: National Donut Day Dress, Part 1

Happy National Donut Day! Earlier this week, when I discovered that Donut Day was approaching, I decided it was just the deadline I needed to sew up not one but TWO donut themed dresses. So, there will be not one but TWO Donut Dress posts on this here blog. Do'not even act like you are surprised. This is what happens when I have too much time on my hands! 
 For National Donut Day, Krispie Kreme is giving out one free donut! How super amazing is that. And those folks were working hard at the Kreme when I popped by there today. It was a madhouse! Who knew that folks would go so nuts over donuts?! 
 I've had this fabric in my stash forever...so long that all I can tell you is that I scored it from the thrift store years ago. I decided to pair the small print with a bid and bold polka dot. Two days ago, I started cutting into the fabric...well, the best I could...
 Every time I do, I gotta contend with this. WHY IS THIS A THING, CAT PEOPLE?! The moment she hears that tissue paper on the floor, she comes a running and a sitting. It's hilarious. 
 I decided to do the same dress pattern mashup as I used on this pencil dress but decided to ditch the button. 
 The red dotted fabric was leftover from my superhero dress. This means I actually used fabric already in my stash for this dress...that never happens! 
I have decided that there are three things I hate the most about sewing: 

1. PUTTING IN A SLEEVE. Ugh, I get stabbed at least 50,000 times but the needles holding the sleeve in place as I struggle to get it around the machine. Someone come teach me a magical sleeve sewing trick!

2. HEMMING A CIRCLE SKIRT. Thankfully, I didn't have to do that here. Because I literally feel like I'm pinning and sewing a circle skirt for DAYS...but they are my favorite!

3. PUTTING IN A ZIPPER. It's not that it's hard to put in a zip...it's just that it's usually the final step and it's at the point in dress-making where I just WANNA BE DONE and NEVER SEW AGAIN. So my patience is pretty much extinct. 
 But then I wear the dress and feel all proud and start thinking of the next dress Ima bout to hate making. 
 Look, maw! Matched up backside! 
 Also, POCKETS. All my dresses have them. It's mandatory. 
Stay tuned! I'll have another Donut Dress to share with y'all super soon!
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png

Monday, May 28, 2018

In the Art Room: A Collaborative Painting for Field Day!

Disclaimer: Since discovering Instagram and my love for it, I've gotten super bad about snapping photos with my camera and simply using my phone. So what you have in this blog post are phone photos and for that, I apologize. If you'd like to see me overshare my art room happenings (as well as just my hot mess of a life), you can find me here

In my last post, I shared what we did for the art station portion of Field Day...when I thought it was going to be rained out. The night before Field Day, while I was head scratching what we could do, I thought creating a collaborative canvas painting would be fun (this is what happens when your brain is fried, y'all). So I pulled this giant canvas out of my closet and went to town. 
 I've had this canvas for years. I had started a painting on it years ago and never did anything with it. So I simply painted over it with a cream color paint (cuz that's all I had on hand) and used watered down black acrylic paint to create this. Why watered down acrylic? Because it has better viscosity that way. I began by sketching out four wavy lines across the canvas. Then I wrote out the letters of our school. Once I was happy with the placement, I painted it with a flat brush and called it a night. 
 Along with our other painting station, I let the kids go to town on this. My only "rule" was that one color go in one space...and TRY to stay within the lines. As you can see above, that was a struggle. But it was field day, we were wound up and I knew I could lean up the lines by simply going back over them. So no worries. 
 This was after the first day. I was tempted to leave it this way...and then I added the little pattern on the top and thought it would be fun for the kids to add patterns the following day. 
 Again, so sorry for the grainy photo. My only rule for the patterns was that the kids had to pick one pattern and color and stick with it. For the dots, they used wine corks dipped in paint (fave part of the day? A kid saying, "oh my mom has TONS of these!" Ha!) and thin brushes for the designs. Again, other than that, little direction was given. This was on the last day of school where I had free choice centers set up around the room. This just happened to be one of them. 
 Once dry, I went back over the black to once again clean up the edges. Then I thought it might be fun to add some white highlights to make the letters pop. Look, even the edge got painted!
The admin had no idea we were creating this painting. When I was sharing it with them, our school librarian saw it and LOVED IT. It was decided that this painting would go in the library for everyone to see. AND I'm really excited to share that now the librarian and I are collaborating to create an entire ALPHABET WALL in this style! The kids will kick off the new school year painting a canvas for each letter in the alphabet to showcase in the library. Y'all I'm so stoked! This project was so easy, colorful, happy and fun. I'm looking forward to making more. LOVE to hear if you give this a go! 
 photo signature_zpsd10b3273.png